JBU Stages Disaster Drill for Nursing Students

SILOAM SPRINGS, Arkansas (June 15, 2017) – John Brown University’s Nursing Department partnered with Simmons Foods, the Siloam Springs Fire Department, the Siloam Springs Police Department and Siloam Springs Regional Hospital to stage an emergency response training exercise Wednesday, June 14 at the Simmons Prepared Foods plant for 60 JBU and NorthWest Arkansas Community College nursing students.

The drill, part of JBU’s seven-week summer nursing program, trained nursing students in mass casualty triage, safety and OSHA regulations, various community roles and disaster development.

“We are grateful to the City of Siloam Springs and Simmons Foods for partnering with us to provide our nursing students with hands-on experience,” Dr. Ellen Odell, JBU’s nursing director, said. “Students applied their classroom knowledge in a safe and simulated environment alongside healthcare and safety professionals who have encountered similar real-world situations.”

The exercise simulated an ammonia gas release at Simmons Prepared Foods plant, where over 30 nursing students acted as contaminated workers. The Siloam Springs Fire Department decontaminated and transported patients to JBU’s Health Education Building where other nursing students assessed and treated patients.

“Drills such as this give our crews the opportunity to practice skills and test our responses at a higher level than what we can simulate in a classroom,” John Vanatta, deputy chief of training for Siloam Springs Fire Department, said. “By working with other fire departments, nursing students and private organizations, we can come together to learn from each other and work together to keep our community safe.”

After the drill the nursing students, local first responders and Simmons Foods representatives gathered in JBU’s Simmons Great Hall to debrief and critique the exercise for better instruction for future emergency response exercises.

John Brown University is a leading private Christian university, training students to honor God and serve others since 1919. Arkansas’ top-ranked regional university (U.S. News Best Colleges, 2017), JBU enrolls more than 2,700 students from 40 states and 37 countries in its traditional undergraduate, graduate, online and concurrent education programs. JBU offers more than 39 majors, with top programs including business administration, graphic design, engineering, construction management, counseling, teacher education and nursing.

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